Birdwatching is one of the best hobbies for older adults and the elderly as it can be done in the great outdoors or in the comfort of their own home. "Birding" as some enthusiasts like to call it, is a great way to pass time and get closer to nature.
One of the best things about birdwatching is that it not only gets you outdoors or enjoying nature from your kitchen window, but it doesn't require any major physical ability or equipment. It can be enjoyed seated by a window in your home or by taking a hike through rugged terrain with a pair of light binoculars or simply with your eyes and ears. Birdwatching is also a great way to keep your mind active and boost your mood! Bring along a notebook or camera to document what you see and hear. Finally, try to go out in the early morning, if possible, as it's the best times to see birds at their best while they look for food and build their shelters without the interference of human-made noise (like cars, etc) and distractions.
Benefits of Birdwatching
Connecting with Nature
If your mobility allows it, or with the support of a caregiver or home care aide, you can enjoy the freedoms of being outside, walking through trails or pathways in your neighbourhood, or in designated parks for birding. Breathing in the fresh air and absorbing all that vitamin D from the sun is a sure way to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Don't let mobility limitations hinder your spirit. Simply sitting at a window or in a garden area where birds enjoy fluttering about looking for food from strategically placed bird feeders, can really boost your mood.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Being outdoors or enjoying nature in some capacity can be very calming and relaxing. The meditative aspects of birdwatching can lift your spirits, provide a sense of peace, and time for personal reflection. These feelings all contribute to a reduction in stress levels and anxiety.
There are not only physical benefits to birdwatching, but cognitive benefits as well, especially for seniors. It will give you the opportunity to learn about the eating and social habits of local birds. Perhaps pick up a colourful guide to birds book to learn information about their appearances, names, and calls. This will stimulate cognitive alertness, memory, and awareness of details.
So whatever your ability, location, and materials at your reach, birdwatching is an easy and enjoyable way to connect with nature, socialize with others, and learn new things along the way!
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